Nutrition and Mental Health

There’s a clear link between nutrition and mental health. If you deprive your brain of the good food that delivers nutrition where is needed most, or free radicals are circulating in your brain’s enclosed area, this could exacerbate any underlying mental health issues you may have. It takes quality nutrition and a healthy brain to feel better both physically and mentally. There are many correlations between what you eat and how you feel. 

Foods that Reduce Anxiety

These foods release neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. They are a safe, easy step to manage your anxiety. Certain foods can help reduce anxiety, including:

* In mice, magnesium decreases anxiety. Therefore, foods that are rich in magnesium can help you feel calmer. This includes spinach, Swiss chard, and leafy greens. Other sources are nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

* Zinc affects your body similarly. You can find zinc in cashews, liver, beef, oysters, and egg yolks.

* Fatty fish such as Alaskan salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids. The first study to reveal omega-3s may alleviate anxiety dates back to 2011.

* According to Psychiatry Research, probiotic foods can also lower social anxiety. Examples of probiotic-rich foods include sauerkraut, kefir, and pickles.

* Asparagus is widely noted as a healthy food. The Chinese government endorsed the use of asparagus extract for its anti-anxiety properties.

* You can also try foods rich in B vitamins, such as almonds and avocados. 

Anti – Oxidants Improve Diet and Mental Health

Adding foods rich in anti – oxidants can help alleviate anxiety disorders. The USDA classifies the following foods as rich in antioxidants:

* Dried red, Pinto, black, and kidney beans

* Fruit such as apples, sweet cherries, and plums

* Strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries

* Walnuts and pecans

* Kale, peas, broccoli, and artichokes

* Spices that have anti-oxidant and anxiety-alleviating properties include turmeric and ginger.Combine these foods for a diet and mental health boost.

How Diet Helps You Achieve Better Mental Health

Be sure to let your doctor know about anxiety symptoms that are severe and last more than two weeks. If you continue to get bouts of anxiety that don’t improve or worsen over time, your doctor may recommend a stay at a mental health facility. A growing number of scientists have been researching and writing about the connection between nutrition and mental health. Eating healthy foods can improve your mood. However, there are also foods that you should avoid.

10 Foods You Should Avoid

The link between nutrition and mental health suggests that some foods can increase anxiety. Avoid the following foods:

* Caffeine triggers your body’s fight or flight response

* Refined and artificial sugars are found everywhere but they are best avoided to alleviate anxiety

* Processed foods

* Soda

* Alcohol

* Dairy

* Gluten

* Fried foods